summer meals for needy children; Details for Gloucester and Ipswich | Wender Mind Kids

 summer meals for needy children;  Details for Gloucester and Ipswich
From left: Summer Meals for Kids intern Rachel Ellis, Summer Meals for Kids coordinator Eileen Campbell, intern Harley Pereira, and intern Ryn Montgomery. (Photo courtesy of The Open Door).

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GLOUCESTER – With the warm weather and the joy of the end of the school year, many local families are faced with the reality of having to shoulder the additional cost of breakfast and lunch for their children.

During the school year children can get these meals at school.

The Open Door Summer Meals for Kids program has been filling the summer recess gap for high school students since 2002 and kicked off its 21st season last week.

“Summer Meals for Kids is the bridge local families rely on to feed their children from June through August, especially in the face of inflation, high food costs and ongoing economic hardship,” said President and CEO Julie LaFontaine. “With nutritious, fresh meals, local children can just be kids, stay healthy and return to school ready to learn.”

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The Open Door is a sponsor of the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP), a federal program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).

On Friday, June 24, at the eleventh hour, the House of Representatives passed the Keep Kids Fed Act, which the US Senate approved the day before.

According to Project Bread, food insecurity has been increasing for households with children in Massachusetts since April 2021.

In early March, the US Census Household Pulse Survey estimated that 21% of households with children in Massachusetts were food insecure.

“Summer Meals is a win-win for communities, parents and children,” said Open Door Operations Manager Jen Perry, who has led the program for 17 years.

“These meals not only connect children to good food, but also allow children to focus and play in places that provide educational enrichment, sports, games, and arts and crafts activities.”

Meals will be provided based on availability at the sites and at the following times:

Walk-Up locations in Gloucester (Operating 22nd June – 26th August)

  • The Open Door at 28 Emerson Avenue serves meals Monday through Friday. Meals are available Monday through Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Thursday and Friday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM
  • Meals are served at Riverdale Park at 69 Veterans’ Way Monday through Friday from 12:00 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
  • Willowood Gardens at 40 Willowood Road serves meals Monday to Friday from 12:00pm to 12:45pm.
  • The Pond View Village at 23 Lepage Lane offers meals Monday to Friday from 11:30am to 12:00pm.

Locations registered in Gloucester

  • Summer Learning at West Parish at 10 Concord Street offers lunchtime meals for enrolled participants Monday through Thursday. Summer Meals for Kids takes place from June 27th to July 28th.
  • The O’Maley Academy at 32 Cherry Street offers meals for enrolled students Monday through Thursday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. and from 11:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Summer Meals for Kids takes place from June 27th to August 4th.
  • Kindred Gardens in the Dr. Osman Babson Road 5 offers meals for enrolled participants Monday to Friday from 9:00am to 10:00am and from 11:30am to 12:00pm. Summer Meals for Kids takes place from June 22nd to August 26th.
  • Camp Spindrift at 27 Atlantic Street will provide meals for participants Monday through Friday from 11:30am to 1:00pm. Summer Meals for Kids takes place from June 23rd to August 26th.
  • Gloucester High School at 32 Leslie O. Johnson Road offers meals for enrolled participants Monday through Thursday. Summer Meals for Kids takes place from June 27th to August 4th.

Ipswich Walk-Up Location (Operating 22nd June – 26th August)

  • Ipswich Community Food Pantry at 00 Southern Heights offers meals Wednesday and Thursday from 11am to 4pm.

Registered site in Ipswich

  • Winthrop Elementary School at 65 Central Street offers meals for enrolled students Monday through Thursday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and from 11:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Summer Meals for Kids will be held at this location from July 5th to August 4th.

The Open Door Summer Meals for Kids program strives to accommodate all allergies and special diets. To learn more about the program or to inform employees about dietary needs, please call 978-283-6776 or email summermeals@foodpantry.org.

According to USDA regulations, “Meals are provided to all children free of charge and are equal to all children regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability, and there is no discrimination in the course of meal service.”